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Hi there,

Going to vlog about the gladius and part of this involves (I hope) a discussion on the waisted blade. I consider that it allows for more punch to a thrusting blow, particularly in the case of the Pompeii blade. Any thoughts on this or suggestions as to what advantages it gave?
Waisted blades give more mass toward the weak/point end of the sword, pushing the point of balance, and changing the center of percussion, making for more powerful cuts, and giving more surface area for cuts. Early gladii were equally suited as cut and thrust swords. The Pompeii type gladii were not waisted, either parallel or slightly tapered and overall shorter blades, likely the sword smiths were not envisioning powerful cuts emphasized (though obviously still possible). More than anything, waisted blades were a cultural affectation, as many old bronze age swords of the Mediterranean area were waisted, as were the early iron swords favored by the Romans, specifically the xiphos sword, many of the early Gladius Hispaniensis, and the Mainz/Fulham type.
Bryan Wrote:Waisted blades give more mass toward the weak/point end of the sword, pushing the point of balance, and changing the center of percussion, making for more powerful cuts, and giving more surface area for cuts. Early gladii were equally suited as cut and thrust swords. The Pompeii type gladii were not waisted, either parallel or slightly tapered and overall shorter blades, likely the sword smiths were not envisioning powerful cuts emphasized (though obviously still possible). More than anything, waisted blades were a cultural affectation, as many old bronze age swords of the Mediterranean area were waisted, as were the early iron swords favored by the Romans, specifically the xiphos sword, many of the early Gladius Hispaniensis, and the Mainz/Fulham type.

many thanks - cheers for the help.
(06-29-2016, 04:22 PM)Bryan Wrote: [ -> ]Waisted blades give more mass toward the weak/point end of the sword, pushing the point of balance, and changing the center of percussion, making for more powerful cuts, and giving more surface area for cuts. Early gladii were equally suited as cut and thrust swords. The Pompeii type gladii were not waisted, either parallel or slightly tapered and overall shorter blades, likely the sword smiths were not envisioning powerful cuts emphasized (though obviously still possible).

All other things being equal, yes, but point of balance is also determined by thickness, distal taper and how much counterweight is in the hilt, and cutting ability also by geometry.  One can't say for certain how two blades will differ in handling and cutting performance based only on one factor like profile.
Many waisted blades are thinnest where they are widest. So no extra mass near the point was achieved by the waisting and PoBs remained where they most usually are, but wide and thin area gave the blade great cutting potential against soft targets (flesh, cloth, leather)
and last, but not least: a curved edge provides a better cutting ability compared to a straight one Smile
They look good as well.